Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -A jury has awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.
The federal jury in St. Paul found Tuesday that the 2012 best-selling book libeled Ventura in describing a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle wrote that he decked a man later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs "deserve to lose a few."
Ventura, a former governor and professional wrestler, testified the incident never happened. Kyle insisted in testimony videotaped before he was slain last year that it did.
Both sides put witnesses on the stand during the two-week trial that backed their version of events.
Legal experts said before the trial Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win.
Dems have money edge in key Minnesota races
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Democrats enjoy campaign cash advantages in all races for statewide office as the party seeks to keep its current grip on power.
Gov. Mark Dayton reported Tuesday having $847,000 available as of July 21, well more than any Republican vying to be the nominee against him.
Attorney General Lori Swanson was out front of Republican challenger Scott Newman, but not substantially. Both Democratic candidates for state auditor - incumbent Rebecca Otto and former state Rep. Matt Entenza - were outpacing the Republican opponent Randy Gilbert in available cash.
In the race for an open secretary of state's office, Rep. Steve Simon had a wide money lead over the GOP's Dan Severson.
And in the fight for state House control, a Democratic campaign arm has double what Republicans have left.
Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is stirring fear and canceling travel plans in Minnesota, where thousands of Liberians have immigrated over the years.
The worry has been heightened with a report that a Liberian government official died of the disease just weeks before he was due to fly to Minneapolis to visit his wife and children.
The cause of Patrick Sawyer's death hasn't been confirmed.
His widow, Decontee (DAY'-con-tay) Sawyer, says she is talking about his death in part to raise awareness about the danger of Ebola possibly being carried by travelers.
Minnesota health officials have begun outreach efforts on how to recognize symptoms of the disease and travel safely. Meanwhile, Liberian immigrants are raising money for medical supplies to send abroad.
Sandbars ground barges in upper Mississippi River
WABASHA, Minn. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on dredging parts of the Mississippi River in Minnesota to allow dozens of barges to pass by unprecedented levels of sand resulting from recent flooding.
The sandbars have halted barge traffic on the river from Winona to Red Wing, leaving more than a dozen towboats and nearly 200 scheduled barges unable to pass because heavy flooding in June washed soil into the river.
The Corps' channel maintenance coordinator Dan Cottrell says they work on dredging every year, but have never seen it this bad. Cottrell tells the Post-Bulletin parts of the river have been impassable since July 19.
Cottrell says it affects the bottom line for the barge companies. A single towboat pushing 15 barges can carry the same load as 870 semis.
FATAL HOME INVASION
Additional details on fatal home invasion released
RAY, Minn. (AP) - Sheriff's officials are providing additional details about two home invasions at rural homes in Minnesota that ended with a fatal shooting.
Koochiching County Sheriff's Capt. Jon Froemke says a 34-year-old Twin Cities man with no history of criminal activity was at a resort for a friend's wedding when he broke into the first home on Highway 53 near International Falls about 5 a.m. Saturday. The homeowner heard his wife scream, grabbed his gun and struck Benjamin Beaudoin in the head. Beaudoin left the house and showed up at a second residence a few miles down the road.
Minnesota Public Radio News says Beaudoin told the 72-year-old female homeowner he had been attacked and she let him enter. Froemke says Beaudoin then attacked the woman. Her 48-year-old son retrieved a gun and fatally shot him.
EXPOSED OIL PIPELINES
Crude oil pipelines exposed near Minnesota river
MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - Flooding and erosion have exposed oil pipelines along the Tamarac River in northwestern Minnesota.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports three of the seven Enbridge Corporation pipelines that carry crude oil from Canada across Minnesota are now visible.
A local farmer says he noticed one exposed pipe in the area for 14 years, and he recently noticed more areas of uncovered pipeline.
The three exposed lines include a 24-inch and a 34-inch pipe constructed in the 1960s, as well as a 20-inch pipe laid in 2010. One pipe along the river channel is exposed for about 100 feet.
A state engineer says the exposure could damage the pipelines, but there isn't a law in place that requires Enbridge to rebury them. He says the risks increase the longer a line is exposed.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.